I am a 26 year old female with an arachnoid cyst in my posterior fossa (found in 2000 "incidentally" after I went through the ER to the Psych ward - 4cm x 2.6cm).  I had been symptomatic my whole life.  Between the ages of 5 an 10 and at least once a year, I would wake up unable to see.  It would go away within an hour or two, so I wasn't scared and did not tell my mother or father.  I have had "weird feelings" in my head and "brainaches" as I called them.  I started seeing flashes of light when my showers were too hot or I was exhausted.  I could continue, but it would take you too long to read, you know the symptoms, and you have a life (I hope, LOL ;).  The neurologist I saw in 2000 said that I should move on and not let it get to me. (I asked him if he was a psychiatrist as well? tee hee...)  Most AC's are asymptomatic (i.e. yours is asymptomatic.)  Go to the ER when you have the headache of your life.  I LISTENED TO HIM!!!!   I had insurance then and didn't persue it.  I was naive, 21, and frankly was relieved to hear that I would be o.k.


   

I had started reaching out for support in 2002 online, but was embarrassed when the support group found out I had been in the Psych Ward (turns out, I should not have been since some of them had been, too.)  I tried to turn to my family, but they kept trying to patronize me (it's all in your head.)  So I started ignoring my symptoms and "moving on."  

    By late September 2004, I had to quit working because of the symptoms that had worsened (and some new ones.)  They were so unbarable! (numbness and tingling in arms and legs, fatigue like I had been dipped in something heavy, CONSTANT pressure in my head, etc.)  With all that new free time, I started researching online and asking lots of questions to medical people I would meet who seemed to know more than I did.  At this time, I did not have insurance.  I went to the ER (same as 2000) with the headache of my life.  They let me sit in the waiting room for three hours.  I finally couldn't take it any more.  I told my husband, "I don't care if I die tonight, just take me home."

    Fast forward to May 2005.  I have insurance through my husband's work.  I saw a neurologist last Wednesday.  They had the records from the 2000 ER visit.  He tried to give me the run around, too.  "AC's are not symptomatic..."  (I mentioned the neurologist from 2000), but here is an anti-convulsant Rx and an appointment for an MRI tomorrow, let's go ahead and give you an EEG right now.    (turns out, doctors are allergic to lawyers)

  In short, listen to your body first.  It is all in your head.  If you think you may have symptoms, research and find out more.  Do not listen to family members who may tell you "the doctor said you'll be fine, why are you doing this to yourself?"  You could have symptoms and be ignoring them so you can "move on."  If I had got something done in 2000, I would not have the problems I do now.  Your AC may not be doing any damage right now, but if you don't take care of it and keep it in check, it can cause bad things like "I can't be around my normal circle of friends anymore because none of them know what I'm going through" disease. 

Love yourself and take care,

Amy

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